Tag Archives: textise

How do you use Textise?

Please let me knVoting imageow what your main use of Textise is by completing the poll below. No prizes, I’m afraid, just the satisfaction of helping me understand how best to take Textise forward. If your main use isn’t listed, or you’d like to expand on it, feel free to add a comment to this post. Thanks!

How to use Textise

Easy ways to use TextiseThere are various methods you can use to easily access Textise, either from the home page or by using browser short-cuts.

Here are your options…

From the Home Page

This is the way Textise started out and it’s still a useful way of using the tool. Just navigate to http://www.textise.net and you’ll see an input box marked “URL or search term”. As the label suggests, this allows you to either type in a URL or input a word or phrase you’d like to search for. If you’re searching, the drop-down underneath allows you to specify which search engine to use. Hit “Textise” or “Search” and you’ll be taken to a text only page showing either the page you specified or the search results.

Note 1: If the string you enter doesn’t contain any full stops (aka periods, aka dots), the program will assume you’re searching (since a URL always contains at least one full stop), in which case it won’t matter which button you press.

Note 2: For URLs, the program will add missing information. For example, you can type in “bbc.co.uk” and Textise will understand that you mean http://www.bbc.co.uk.

Note 3: If you type in a URL and click “Search”, the program will search for the URL using the currently selected search engine.

Firefox Add-on

For Firefox users, I’ve created an add-on that makes it easy to flip in and out of text only mode. The add-on can be accessed from the the right-click menu or from the Tools menu. Click once to enter text only mode, click again to return to the original page.

You can find more details on the Firefox Page or on the Mozilla site.

Note 4: The Mozilla site currently shows a rating of 3 out of 5 for the add-on. This is unfortunately the result of problems I had with Firefox 3.6: the structure of add-ons was changed for this version and this broke my original code. In the end, I had to re-write it from scratch. The latest incarnation has survived all of Firefox’s recent rapid version changes.


The bookmarklet provides almost exactly the same functionality as the Firefox add-on but works with all the major browsers (including Firefox). The major difference is that the bookmarklet can be configured to sit in a browser’s bookmarks/favourites bar, making it very easy to click in and out of text only mode. The underlying code is exactly the same.

You can find the bookmarklet on the Bookmarklet Page.

Note 5: For most browsers, it’s possible to simply drag the bookmarklet from the Bookmarklet Page into your bookmarks/favourites bar.

Textise Bookmarklet for iPad

Lorenzo Orlando Caum (@lorenzocaum) has published a brilliant tutorial on setting up the Textise bookmarklet on an iPad. I use this myself and can thoroughly recommend it.

And your host for tonight is…!

Fix-My-Broken-Website_Tucson_Web_DesignThis weekend (Saturday 23/11/2013) I intend moving Textise to the new hosting on HostingUK. There’s absolutely no way this can go wrong, of course, but I thought I ought to warn you anyway…

You’ll know when Textise is running on the new servers if you see “Textise is now hosted by HostingUK” at the top of your text only output. Or if the site’s completely broken (which, if you remember, definitely can’t happen).

Textise has been really busy this week, which is great to see. And they said that we didn’t need text only pages! Hah!

Update 23/11/2013 13:36 GMT

The move to our new hosting has now completed successfully!

Please note that you may have to first remove the “textise.net/textiseOptions” cookie from your browser before you’ll be able to make changes on the Options page.

Note also that, at the moment, you’ll be sent back to the home page after making changes in Options. This is because of some changes I had to make due to a weird error being thrown during cookie processing. I’ll be fixing this later!

Update 23/11/2013 14:35 GMT

Fixed: After making changes on the Options page, you’ll now go back to the text only output you were viewing.

Oh, by the way…


First up, apologies for the recent outage on both the web-site and the WP7 app. This was due to some serious problems I was having with the web service. I’m still unsure whether it was caused by me or my hosting company: the problem was intermittent, which suggests something wrong at their end, but it came right after I republished a tidied-up version of the code. Maybe we’ll never know! One thing I can tell you, though, is be very careful when using SVN for your source control. Guess who, in the middle of this crisis, clicked Update when he wanted Revert? Well me*, obviously. I didn’t realise for quite some time, but this had the effect of flooding my project folders with inappropriately-placed duplicates. It was a right mess until I had the good sense (at around 5:00am) to delete some stuff.

During my difficult evening, I went on my hosting company’s live chat in the hope they could help. The support person first suggested I re-start my computer. He then asked me to check my broadband connection, in spite of the fact that we were chatting on-line at the time. I told him that errors were still occurring and that my users were unable to use the site. He suggested I tell my users to restart their computers. Genius.

Sales of the WP7 app have taken an upward swing after 1800pocketpc.com published details. I’ve actually been sending out press release emails, which seems to be working. The app’s now at version 1.2 and allows you to choose which engine you use for searches (Bing, Google or Yahoo).Google now only occasionally blocks Textise so I thought it worth the gamble!

The latest problem I’ve seen is with pages consisting of a header containing a redirect. Textise renders these as blank pages (no content, y’see) instead of following the redirect. Might see if I can fix it at the weekend. Might not.

*I know, I know – dodgy grammar.